Sunday, September 10, 2017

Somebody Killed Her Husband

After one season of CHARLIE’S ANGELS, Farrah Fawcett-Majors was the biggest star on television and decided to become a movie star. She left the ABC series and starred in three consecutive flops: SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND, SUNBURN, and SATURN 3 (something about “S”es, I guess). Then it was back to CHARLIE’S ANGELS guest shots and made-for-TV movies. But I suppose she had to try.

It doesn’t take long to discover why SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND, despite a screenplay by the great Reginald Rose (12 ANGRY MEN), is a failure. It’s a screwball comedy in which one of the romantic leads (guess which one?) has no flair for comedy and no chemistry with her leading man (whoops, gave it away). I wish I could have seen Rose’s face when director Lamont Johnson (SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE) told him Farrah Fawcett-Majors would be saying his dialogue.

Farrah meets aspiring author Jeff Bridges (FAT CITY) in the toy section at Macy’s. Even though she’s a wife and a mother, Bridges falls for her (duh, she looks like Farrah Fawcett-Majors), and it turns out she likes him too. Unfortunately, somebody kills her husband (sounds like a title), and she and he decide to hide the corpse and solve the mystery because they believe the cops will suspect them of the murder. Which is dumb, but funny movies have been built around dumber premises.

However, those movies didn’t have Farrah Fawcett-Majors, who has great hair, great teeth, a great body, but no discernible ability to play comedy, leading the charge. Thus, it’s left to Jeff Bridges, who is a fine comic actor, to pull double the weight, and it’s hardly fair to blame him for not being able to. He’s also playing an awkward oddball and kind of a creep, so he isn’t all that likable (fatal in a romantic comedy), and Johnson (also not experienced in comedy) lacks the right pacing for comedy or suspense.


Anonymous said...

Fawcett, Winkler, Travolta...all TV superstars of the 70's, and yet only one broke the glass ceiling of film stardom, only to quickly fall from that high perch into life-long mediocrity, if not outright critical and cultural disdain.

Why? Because of one thing, and one thing only: because of the shocking, brutal, uncompromising, ugly, cruel, cold-hearted and ultimately brilliant realism of a low-budget film about sad and self-destructive young lives, often misinterpreted as a "dance" film which caused nothing more than a passing fad.

I'm referring, of course, to "Saturday Night Fever".

Felicity Walker said...

“It doesn’t take long to discover why SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND, despite a screenplay by the great Reginald Rose (12 ANGRY MEN), is a failure” became a garden path sentence for me, as I assumed the use of the title SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND was cleverly doubling as a statement. I mis-parsed it as:

1. It doesn’t take Farrah Fawcett-Majors long to discover why SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND.

2. And it doesn’t take her long to discover it despite a screenplay by Reginald Rose, which, normally, would increase the length of time it takes her to discover it. Reginald Rose is usually very good at obscuring the reasons why people kill.

3. Is a failure. Wait, what? Oh, I get it! It doesn’t take us long to discover why the movie, which is called SOMEBODY KILLED HER HUSBAND, is a failure.

Not your fault—you put the title in all caps, after all—just one of those amusing language bugs. :-)